News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
Award-winning playwright Terrance McNally died March 24, 2020, at the age of 81, from complications of COVID-19. He was a lung cancer survivor, and suffered from COPD. McNally’s work includes the book (script) for the musicals Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Full Monty, and Anastasia, as well as a number of plays, film and television scripts, and opera librettos. He won Tony Awards for Best Book for Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman, and for Best Play for Love! Valour! Compassion and Master Class. His other honors include several Guggenheim Fellowships, an Emmy, two Drama Desk Awards, and a pair of Obie Awards.
- The Coronavirus Takes Its Toll on Publishing (Publishers Weekly) The ALA cancelled its June conference and advised libraries to close to slow the spread of the virus. ReedPop changed the dates of BookExpo and BookCon to July, but none of the Big Five publishers plans to attend anyway. (And the Javitz Center has been converted to a temporary field hospital for who knows how long, anyway.) Publishers are cutting or fuloughing staff, and debating whether or not to delay release dates of forthcoming books. Bookstores are closing their doors, voluntarily or by order of their states’ governors, though many are offering curbside delivery and online sales. And Diamond Comic Distributors is ceasing delivery of weekly comics to comic book stores.
- B&N Temporarily Closes 400 Outlets in compliance with orders by state and local authorities. The chain has also suspended all in-store author events through the end of April. (Publishers Weekly)
- How Kids’ Lit Is Responding to the Coronavirus (Publishers Weekly)
- Literary Hub Presents: The Virtual Book Channel (Literary Hub)
Worth Reading/Viewing (not all book-related)
- How to sanitize your groceries and take-out, detailed by a family physician. (Jeffrey van Wingen, MD, on YouTube) Clear and sensible. Just bear in mind that he is (and explains that he is) skimping on handwashing only for the video — you should continue washing your hands for the full 20 seconds each time.
- Italy’s Answer to Coronavirus Is a Classic Published Almost 200 Years Ago (Alessio Perrone, Literary Hub)
- How You Can Support Bookstores Through the Coronavirus Pandemic (Literary Hub)
- The Book Industry Charitable Foundation exists to help booksellers and indie bookstores through tough times. They are always happy to accept donations.
Free Fiction Online
A number of authors and companies are offering free fiction to lift your spirits while you’re on lockdown.
Movies & Shows
- YouTube to reduce video quality worldwide to ease strain on internet networks (CNN Business)
- [British] National Theatre productions to be streamed for free on YouTube on Thursdays in April.
More Stay-At-Home Resources
- Bestselling Children’s Author Mo Willems Is Teaching Kids Drawing On YouTube (Bored Panda)
- Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public (University Times) Over 6,000 publications and over 150 journals are available free without a subscription (and have been; this isn’t new.) These are university-level materials, so your college and high school students who have lost access to their institutions’ libraries may find useful research/essay material here.
- A list of authors & illustrators doing online storytime, by day of the week and time. (Kids Activities Blog)
- Huckleberry Moose has some free printables, including several cute paper dolls and a cut-fold-and-paste Easter treat box.
Cool, Fun, and Awesome
- The COYER reading challenge now runs all year! And right now, they’re running a Quarantine Edition.
- This trailer for the forthcoming game Lost Words: Beyond the Page looks really cool!
- Which Children’s Book Is This Famous Line From? is a 25-question quiz. Take it and let me know how you did! (How Stuff Works)
- Read Your Way Around the World With These 20 Books (Great Big Story)